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Full text of "NightRider"

his ear, but in so subdued a tone that the nearest persons in
the crowd, no matter how hard they strained, could not under-
stand a word. The major looked straight ahead of him un-
seeingly, as though he heard nothing and were absorbed in
his own inward processes, and slowly blinked his pale blue,
protruding eyes.

The men climbed down from the coaches and were formed
in company front on the open stretch at the south end of the
platform. There were two companies of infantry. The stock
cars with the cavalry horses were switched to a siding, and the
cavalrymen began unloading. All the while the band was
playing. The train pulled out; the soldiers remaining on it
leaned from the windows and waved back. They were on their
way to Morganstown. The next day one of the companies of
infantry and a squadron of cavalry from the force at Bards-
ville were to be marched to French Springs, eleven miles away,
where there was no railroad.

Mayor Alton, clutching Major Pottle by the arm, steered
him toward a baggage truck at the south end of the platform,
the officer's unwieldy bulk moving slowly, but unprotestingly,
almost somnambulantly, as though in the grip of a superior
will. The mayor, with a kind of creaking and exaggerated
nimbleness, clambered on to the baggage truck, and extended
a hand to assist Major Pottle. But Major Pottle ignored the
hand. He clutched the edge of the truck with both hands,
placed one foot on the tongue of the truck, and with his neck
reddening above the collar and his pale eyes bulging, heaved
himself upward. He rose to his feet asthmaticaliy, and stood
beside Mayor Alton, who at that moment extended his arms
to still the music, and began to speak.

" Friends and fellow-citizens," he began, " to say that peace
is returned to our distracted community is today my happi-
ness. If—and I say this with both sadness and pride—my
request for military assistance had been granted that sad and
fateful morning when we awoke to find in ruins the properties
and investments of those great business organizations which,
more than any other factor, contribute to the happiness and